R. C. “Chris” Baldwin, age 75, of Friendswood, Texas, passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 16, 2017 due to complications from progressive COPD. Chris was born in Kilgore, Texas on September 30, 1941, eldest son of proud parents Betty and R.P. “Kiowa” Baldwin.
Chris grew up in Odessa, Texas, often working in the oil fields alongside his father. Upon graduation from Odessa Permian High School, Chris moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas, where he met his wife, Bunnye, who passed earlier this year. The two were wed in Graham, Texas in June of 1965.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics, the only available precursor to U.T.’s Computer Science Program, a lifelong interest in space and technology led Chris to hire on with IBM as a computer programmer, where he was immediately placed as a contractor on NASA’s ongoing Project Gemini. He also spent a brief period with IBM’s corporate business units, which required he and Bunnye to relocate to New York and Holland.
Chris’s passion for space exploration steered his IBM career back to NASA and the ongoing Apollo missions. It was his critical work on the Apollo 13 crisis which earned him a place in the Mission Control Center for the remaining Apollo missions, as well as several awards. Chris also worked on the SkyLab Program, as well as the Space Shuttle Programs from their inceptions. He received a Certificate of Appreciation from the IEEE Computer Society for his work as editor of the Standards for Software Quality Metrics, which remain the basis of today’s standards. Chris remained at IBM until 1993, retiring as an Advisory Analyst.
A widower, Chris is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Bunnye.
He is survived by his older daughter Crystye Baldwin, younger daughter Karrye Baldwin and son-in-law, Ty Melton, as well as his younger brother Jack Baldwin and his wife, Lynne.
At Chris’ request, there will be no memorial service. A private dual interment service will be held later for both Bunnye and Chris, who preferred never to be separated, even in death. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Friends of the Friendswood Library, where Chris was a dedicated, long-time patron.
Condolences can be sent to the family in care of Jeter Funeral Home at www.jeterfuneralhome.com.